Mixed Martial Artists don’t often get multiple opportunities at a title shot. That’s the beauty of what Bellator’s tournament format offers to eight fighters at the start of each season. Friday’s Bellator 63 will host the start of the welterweight tournament, where one fighter hopes that the third time will be the charm.
Bryan Baker (16-3) has fought in two Bellator middleweight tournament’s, making it to the finals of the season 2 tournament and the semi-finals in season 5. For season 6 Baker decided to drop down in weight and try his luck in the welterweight tournament. In his quarterfinal round fight he’ll be matched up against Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-9-1) who will be making his promotional debut.
Baker follows former welterweight’s Rick Hawn and Brent Weedman who dropped down to lightweight this season to compete in the 155 lbs. tournament. At last week’s Bellator 62, both fighters were successful in the debut at the new weight class, something Baker will look to emulate at welterweight.
Under the Bellator banner Bryan Baker has gone 6-2 and holds notable wins over Matt Horwich, Jeremy Horn and Joe Riggs. His defeats though have come against the two-time middleweight tournament champion Alexander Shlemenko and the man who would lose to Shlemenko in the season 5 finals Vitor Vianna.
If the third time is to be the charm for Baker he must find a way to though the tough road ahead of him in the welterweight tournament. Aside from he’s quarterfinal opponent (Carlos Alexandre Pereira) the 170 lbs. field includes returnees Chris Lozano and Ben Saunders, along with tournament newcomers Karl Amoussou, David Rickels, Jordan Smith and Raul Amaya.
Matchups for Friday’s quarterfinal round of the welterweight tournament look like this:
Raul Amaya vs. Ben Saunders
Bryan Baker vs. Carlos Alexandre Pereira
Jordan Smith vs. David Rickels
Karl Amaussou vs. Chris Lozano
Bellator 63 will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and will air live on MTV2.